Socialist Worker

Campaigns get organised for protest against racist myths about migrants

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2388

Advert for the demonstration

Campaigners are getting organised to build demonstrations against racism and fascism on Saturday 22 March. 

The local National Union of Teachers (NUT) branch in Hackney, east London, called an open planning meeting. It brought together a broad range of activists to plan how to make the protest as big as possible.

More than 20 people attended, including trade unionists from the trades council, the town hall, the local hospital and bus garage. 

There were also people from Turkish and Kurdish groups including Day-Mer and Halkevi and from the People’s Assembly.

Hackney Labour councillor Patrick Vernon, who was at the meeting, told Socialist Worker, “We have to face up to the resurgence of the far right and the panic in the media about migration. Look at the impact leaving these ideas unchallenged is having on mainstream thinking. 

“Having zero tolerance for these ideas means being vigilant. Join protests, but also report hate crime. Help make 22 March bigger. 

“In doing that you will bring people from different faith groups together and help each see that we have a lot in common.”

Patrick added, “I’m one of several Labour councillors involved locally in this. I hope people across the left will recognise the political implications and take part.”

There isn’t long to build the demonstration so the campaigners have put together a diary of activities, many of which could be used by other groups elsewhere. 

They plan a cavalcade round the borough on Saturday 15 February. 

And they have called a public meeting on 12 March, at which local MP Diane Abbott has agreed to speak—alongside Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism and others.

Activist Despina Karayianni, said, “We are going to take the statement around trade unionists and others in the area for them to sign and get that printed in the local paper.

“I think people need to be creative. The NUT is trying to get the demonstration raised in school assemblies.”

Stand up to racism and fascism - Saturday 22 March, 11am, Trafalgar Square, central London. Events will also take place in Glasgow and Cardiff. Go to uaf.org.uk for more details 

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